Tim Engelhardt is a live act and producer hailing from Wolmersen Germany. At just 16 years of age he has already firmly established himself as a versatile disc jockey and talented producer with support from industry heavyweights such as Robert Babicz, Gabriel Ananda, Slam, Paul Hazendonk, Acid Pauli and Oliver Schories to name a just a few. His latest release Immer on Parquet is steadily climbing the Beatport charts complimented by an upcoming event alongside Guy J in his native Germany. Decoded Magazine caught up with Tim to discuss releases, gigs, inspirations and life as one of the industries youngest producers.
Hi Tim, thank you for taking time out to talk to us here at Decoded Magazine. How are you today?
Hi Ian, I’m really good, I was looking forward to this talk for a while and finally we did it!
Germany has an incredible history regarding electronic music, with Berlin renowned for it’s scene, beyond this city what is the current clubbing scene like right now?
Well, because of my age I can’t tell too much about clubbing. What I know is that especially in my hometown Cologne, there are lots of people doing their regular nights at clubs like Gewölbe or Artheater with interesting bookings. I’d also like to add that the venue Odonien is something I really like in Cologne and I haven’t heard about anything similar yet.
You have had an incredible few years on the DJing and production front, made all the more amazing by your age; just 16. Can you tell us what inspired you to want to make music?
To be honest I was (and I am still) a big fan of anything energetic, electronic and authentic when it all started, and after listening to a lot of mixes I wanted to know how to make that kind of music. After learning the basics of how to produce, it took me away from the stuff I listened to at the beginning to what I’m doing now quite fast. What really gave me a lot of energy and positive vibes were the tracks of Robert Babicz, which I really loved and I still wouldn’t change a thing on nearly all his records… I am lucky to call him a friend now, he is a great person and has skills in production are unreached by most.
Andreas Lindemann has had an influence on you guiding your career, can you tell us how it came about to meeting him and the subsequent support you have received?
He was actually mastering a remix I have done for a German label and after a long phone call where he told me he loved my stuff and would love to release an EP of my music on his label. We were working very closely together and he taught me a lot. Nowadays we are still friends and meet from time to time to make music.
2011 saw you start the label Nachglanz Recordings, with which you had a number of consistent releases before stepping down after a year, what are the challenges to running your own label?
It was actually a more or less fun project which I’m not too happy about now. An older friend and I were getting so many good tracks from friends we thought: Why not do a label and release it. Basically, I like the idea of having my own label, probably in 10 years, I might do that again… For now I need to focus on my own career.
We understand your latest release ‘immer’ on Parquet has special meaning to you. what’s the story behind this single and how it came about?
I started that track back in autumn and it was about 50% ready, the melodies were done, but I wasn’t sure about the rest so I didn’t do any further work on it until January when I was on the train to Cologne. I was doing a practical at WIR Network…and I just opened my computer on the train to see if there are any projects I could work on meanwhile. The project is basically about always being in love with a particular attribute or character trait, be it on a person, nature, whatever. And falling back in love with it whenever you experience just that, that would be a short version of the story behind. It still means a lot to me because I found that this thing is happening a lot in our lives and I like transforming that into music.
You have a number of remix projects in the pipeline for artists such as Alexander Koning, David Hasert & Matteo Luis, what can we expect from these projects?
Remixing others is not really my favourite thing, as most of the time it’s really hard to make good songs even better. Alexander Koning has asked me twice, one remix is very soft and vocal based but the other one is very trippy and forward-thinking, with a very unique feeling. I just got to know David Hasert a few weeks ago and I really like him, so when he sent me the tune “Watermelon“ he did with Matteo, it was clear to me I wanted to do the remix. I already have some ideas in my mind, but the final remix isn’t done yet.
How do you approach the task of remixing, does it differ from your mindset when you create an original composition?
Totally! I like to chop up the original’s samples and twist them so that they have a very unique vibe which kind of evolved into my signature. Then I like to add baselines, melodies and whatever. For production I always have a feeling, a track name, a story, whatever in mind, and then I play a melody on my keyboard which fits for me. After that I do the chops mentioned above and drums, baselines etc. I rarely sit down and record drums first, that mostly happens when I get out of inspiration, but that is the point where I always tell myself to shut everything down and try again another day.
Speaking of producing and remixing, you have recently acquired a new piece of equipment for the studio, the Nord rack, how is this new item faring for you?
I really like the Nord Rack, I was in love when I first saw it a few years ago, but I didn’t have the money to buy it then. Nowadays there are so many pocket-size synths available, it is not easy to choose one. I decided to stick to the older ones and bought a Nord Rack on Ebay.
Regarding your studio set up, what pieces of equipment could you not live without, and if you could have any other addition what would it be?
My CME keyboard! I bought it from a friend for just 150 bucks and it is just great, especially when I need to play advanced themes.
I’m looking forward to buying the new Moog Sub 37 and I will probably buy a new pair of speakers soon. I might buy more equipment in the next months/years, but I think less is more.
What 10 tracks are currently on rotation for you at the moment?
Niju feat. Moria – Fairies in The Moonlight (David Hasert Remix)
Tim Engelhardt – Immer
David Durango – Dolls
Solee – L.O.V.E (Von&Zu Remix)
Jonas Saalbach – A Spiritual Thing
Sezer Uysal – Le Grand Labyrinthe
Jin Choi – Views
Robert Babicz – Shifting Reality
John Digweed & Nick Muir – 3B3 (Rob Acid Vs. Robert Babicz Remix)
Jimpster feat. Jonatan Bäckelie – Brought To Bare (Deetron Remix)
Tim It’s been an absolute pleasure to speak with you, we at decoded magazine would like to thank you for taking time out to speak with us and wish you all the best for the future. Besides the event we’ve just mentioned, what else can we expect from you in the remainder of 2014?
I have scheduled something with Robert Babicz on his label..first up is my remix for his “Black Lion“ and then there will be more. Besides that, a record on Subtract Music and one on WIR and hopefully another one on Parquet! Furthermore, of course remixes, remixes, remixes and some recorded live sets on my soundcloud. I do a lot of music but I like to keep it to myself at the moment, so maybe 2015 will be a better time for releasing more.
01// tim engelhardt – dunst
02// tim engelhardt – time will save your soul
03// alexander koning – ber_troit (tim engelhardt remix)
04// robert babicz – black lion (tim engelhardt remix)
05// tim engelhardt & autm – das horn
06// tim engelhardt – cara
07// tim engelhardt – ein teil von mir
08// tim engelhardt – madelyn
09// tim engelhardt – das funkeln in ihren Augen